My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
5/10. I could have had a lot more fun. But instead, I pushed myself because I was insecure, afraid I wouldn't be successful. I was always insecure.
Grades in high school
A's and B's. All As, except Bs in every single math class until I figured out you can't memorize your way through those. You had to know the rules and work it out on the exam. I never slept enough, and this didn't help my reasoning ability during the exams. I would also be so nervous and anxious that I could barely think during the exams that required thinking (i.e. math). Only later did I find out that this was an anxiety disorder and was most definitely not normal. Alas... To anyone struggling with math: 1) get enough sleep 2) know the concepts being taught. Don't memorize 3) if you have anxiety, get treated for that. After I figured that out, I set the curve a couple times in my first college math course and got an A :)
Math (see grades section)
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Places lived in US
Places lived outside the US
Current occupations / past occupations
Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
How does your college experience compare to your expectations of it while you were in high school?
college experience easier than high school experience. Turns out high school was the hardest thing ever in my life. I'm not sure if it's because I got better at life, or if it's actually easier. Either way, I'm in a better place that I was in high school
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
- being completely satisfied with yourself
- gaining the respect and admiration of others
My definition of success has changed over time.
I use to think success was comparison--how much MORE money would I have compared to my peers, what position would I be in my position at a corporate job, how quickly can I climb this ladder and become someone else's boss. Now, my definition of success is more focused on myself than others. The respect of other people is still important to me, but its weight is fading.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Bringing up myself without parental involvement in the middle of Palo Alto when all my friends around me had ultra-involved parents. I didn't understand why my parents never drove me to school. I didn't understand why I had to sign all my own permission slips, and make all the decisions of my life on my own. To be alone in such an emotionally vulnerable period in my life, while watching all my friends have tutors for every subject and have paid college consultants to write their college essays for them, and have parents who cook dinner for them and ask them about their school work and help them study for their upcoming exams. That was difficult.
But the silver lining was that very early on, I learned to be accountable for my own life. This life was my own. Every choice I make had consequences that I couldn't blame anyone else for.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest regret is thinking I was suppose to suffer for success. Pushing myself to do things that wasn't right for me at the time, in the name of "no pain, no gain."
You can't push people (including yourself) to do anything. You can only influence them. Let things come naturally. If you're suppose to do something, it'll feel right. I promise. You don't have to work so hard.
If you don't trust me, take it from Eric Schmidt of Google. He said something along the lines of, "The successful people always have the most fun along the way."
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
The first time someone told me they loved me. My family never said that to me. This was the first time in my life I felt an unconditional acceptance from someone. I found a sense of security from this experience that I had never in my life felt before. This encouraged me to explore my faith and spirituality.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
The Ohlone (elementary school) farm